I ruffled my hand through my short, brown hair; the layer of dust in my hair falling to my shoulders. Looking at the dust on my shoulder, I thought.
I thought about where it had been, where it was from, and where it will go. It seems there is no way to tell exactly where we will go and what we will do.
There's no fate but what we make. I thought to myself, John Conner's message echoing in my tired mind.
I wiped the thin layer of dirty sweat off my face as I tightened the straps on my harness. Even though I had been training for four long years, I had never really gotten used to it…Free falling.
It was all part of my training, a test. They say that time travel should feel like falling…falling through time. So that's how I got myself here, in this helicopter, 12,000 feet off of the solid ground, about to make the plunge.
With each whip of the blade above me, I could feel us getting higher, my ears beginning to pop. I stuck my hand in my pocket. The small picture gently placed in my pocket felt smooth against my rough hand. I lightly stroked the corner of it, a sense of hope filling me instantly.
"Ready?" the pilot said giving me a thumbs-up.
I stood, giving him a thumbs-up back, and walked over the drop doors. I breathed in.
It's just another test.
"Ready!" I yelled over the roar of the wind.
Time slowed, my heart pounded, the suspense chilling me to the core.
All the sounds around me, except my slow breathing, disappeared completely…click.
The floor disappeared beneath me.
I was sucked out of the airplane, my heart falling to my stomach as all the precious air was sucked out of my lungs. I titled my body, slowing the frightening fall, and watched as the ground rushed toward me. The cold air holding me up was like an invisible balloon, slowly floating to the earth.
I smiled the familiar, horrifying adrenaline rushing to my heart. My watch beeped. I felt for my hook, wrapped my cold hands around it, and pulled.
Oh no, I tugged on the strap again.
"Come on!" I yelled the vicious wind ripping my words away. In my head piece a faint voice spoke to me.
"Reese, why aren't you pulling your Shute? You're almost past the safe zone."
I spoke into my microphone. "My Shute's jammed! It won't open!" I said staring at the ground as it grew closer and imagining what the impact would feel like.
"Pull the extra Shute!" I heard the voice yell at me.
Of course! The extra Shute…why didn't I think of that? I felt around my back pack. Where was it? The thick feeling of fear was beginning to sink in.
With a sigh of relief, I found it.
Come on. I pleaded as I pulled the small hook.
"Past the safe zone, Reese! You're going to land off course!" The voice in my ear piece said. My mind fired. Instantly unstrapping my pack, I held it in my hands and ripped a hole just big enough for a parachute to slip out.
I ripped the camouflaged parachute it out of its pack. Taking the cloth with my trembling hands I undid the folds praying it would catch the roaring wind beneath me. I threw it above me and held onto the handle for dear life.
Please. I thought grasping to the small once of hope I had left.
The parachute opened above me. The handle jerked, threatening to escape, but I wouldn't let it. My decent slowed but the ground was still deathly closer than it ever should be. Not knowing whether I would survive the land, I thought of Sarah.
I guess I wouldn't be able to see her after all. Her beautiful face, her precious smile…I would never have the chance to make her happy.
I closed my eyes, waiting for the deathly impact to hit.
My shoulder hit first; then my head. Pain surged through me as the fuzzy world around me darkened. I blinked; amazed I was alive at all.
A medium sized object just barely made it into my blurring vision. The Resistance? No, it can't be. I thought trying to focus more clearly on the object.
It moved at a faster pace toward me its red eyes glaring at me…red eyes.
I stumbled to my feet, the pain in my right arm screaming as I cradled it gently in my left.My head pounded at my temples but I forced my legs to push ahead anyway.
Turn off the pain. Control it. I chanted in my head. Focus on survival.
I needed a weapon. Just barely in the distance, I saw an abandoned helicopter shinning in the hot sun. I ran.
Bullets began to explode all around me, sending up small tuffs of sand flying everywhere. After a few moments of being shot at I had calculated his shooting pattern.
His left hand gun had a rusty and broken locator but small and powerful bullets. If I was hit with one of those I'd be done for sure. His right hand, however, had a good locator and was closer to the target, but the bullets…if I got hit with one of those I would probably survive...if the hit wasn't too fatal.
I favored the right side as much as I could as I stumbled across the hot desert. Running into the helicopter a smell of decaying bodies engulfed me. I looked in the back and saw two figures covered in dried blood.
One of them, I spotted, a flare gun in their holster. Carefully, I slipped the small gun out of the man's jacket. I looked at the red on his resistance coat distracted for just a moment. Boom.
The helicopter tilted violently to the side making me slip out the doors and land on the dirt ground. The Terminator was just barley five feet away from me. He slowly turned his metal head, making small beeping noises as he identified me.
His eye's sharpened and he began to stumble towards me. I backed up, frantically trying to cock the small gun. He stopped and aimed his left gun right at my chest. There was no way it could miss at this distance. My flare gun snapped shut and I instantly aimed and pulled the trigger.
The flare hit the terminator with a loud bang. Even though it didn't harm the Terminator, it did distract him.
In that small moment of freedom, I quickly sprang to my feet and raced around the helicopter. After reloading my gun I pointed it skywards, took a breath, and shot into the sky.
What I had just done will determine if I will live or not. It will either notify the resistance that I'm here, or it will give away my cover to other surrounding T600s. It was life or death. The T600 was on my trail again.
"Reese!" I heard a small voice shout.
Grabbing my half broken ear bud, I shoved in my ear. "Reese, here."
It was John Conner's voice. "Reese! We're coming to get you. Stay low. Have any T600s spotted you yet?"
I heard the Terminator beginning to shuffle my way. I began to re-load my gun. Boom. I shot him in the chest.
"He's after me, sir."
"What weapon do you have?" I looked at the rest of my bullets in the small bag. One left.
"A…flare gun, sir." I said as I loaded my last flare. John was silent.
The Terminator grabbed me by the coat and threw me into the sky. Shooting my arms out to break my fall, the familiar pain in my right arm burst through me once more.
I rolled onto my stomach moaning as the pain in my arm slowly seeped through me. The Terminator aimed his right gun at me and I could hear the click as his locator locked on my spot.
This can't be it. I'm supposed to save Sarah. I'm supposed to protect her. I can't die here. I can't-